Monthly Haiku Corner – January 2023

The theme this month is Blood and Ice. All the haiku posted every Monday will connect to tell the tale of a newly born vampire hero trying survive the winter against a Nordic vampire clan.

alluring stranger
vampire’s icy tale
a new year’s hero

Happy New Year, 2023!

Welcome, January! I don’t do resolutions because I can never keep any promises. Life simply gets in the way sometimes and adapting is name of the game. That’s not to say I don’t make changes. Truth is, I’ve been thinking of quitting this blog for some time, but later this spring will mark my blog’s 5th anniversary and I’m proud of my little creations. So, I’m going to stick it out another year and see where the road leads.

Blogging hasn’t always been easy. Last year was a dismal time. I have not been able find the balance in work-to-home life after the pandemic. The first two years of blogging seemed promising. Then, I realized there was another Halloween Haiku writer who returned from a long hiatus and insisted in creating a competition. It was awkward and weird. Totally killed my inspiration. I ignore that person and exist in my own space because my haiku are original. I never claimed to do anything first, especially where a 3,000 year-old art form is concerned.

My real enemy is social media. I added “horror” to my blog name to differentiate between any other halloween haikus, no matter when they started. I thought I would gain more followers doing that. The unpleasant reality is my blog is a little too niche, even for fans of Halloween, horror, or haiku. Thus, I’ve failed to make any kind of mark. I don’t have the time to keep up Halloween trends, nor the skills to run entertaining or informative social media accounts. If you’ve noticed, I stepped back from Meta (Facebook) and Twitter altogether. While I’m happy to be part of The Samhain Society, it seems my lot in life is to always be the square in a circle. But, hey, this is no pity party. I am GenX. Being alone ain’t nothing new.

So, here I am, giving blogging in 2023 a chance. This year I’m going back to basics, just writing haiku. Halloween and horror haiku to be specific. Trying something new though, all my haiku will connect to tell a story that fits a monthly theme. Actually, I did it in December 2022. Every Monthly Haiku Corner, I will announce the theme and give readers a little background blurb. From there, a tale will unfold week after week and by the end of the year, I should have 12 different micro stories, told in haiku format. Occasionally, I’ll post some other stuff too, a horror movie list for those looking for recommendations, a Friday Fright Nightcap here, a Wicked Art Wednesday showcase there, but mostly, it will be all about the Halloween and horror haiku.

I wish everyone all the best this year. May 2023 be good to you. Be safe and have fun. May you find love and inspiration this year, and of course, good health, joy, happiness, and prosperity.

Throwback Thursdays – Treat-or-Treating

Will trick or treating be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

Trick-or-treating can be traced all the way back to the Celtic celebrations of Samhain, on what is now known as October 31st, the night when the dead were believed to come back to the living. Villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away evil spirits. Food and drink were left out. Bonfires were lit. Sacrifices made. Basically, the Halloween party life hasn’t changed much, well, maybe we don’t sacrifice as many bodies as we used to, but, we’re still lighting shit on fire and eating and drinking until we pass out. By the middle ages, people dressed in more elaborate costumes went door-to-door asking for treats, even performed for treats. Christianity took hold and their diehard zealots tried their best to push out pagan ceremonies of All Hallows eve, October 31, and All Hallows Day on November 1, with their own for All Saints Day on November 2. Everything only got muddled and combined. Immigrants brought their Halloween traditions, including trick-or-treating, to the USA, but by the 1920s, pranksters almost got Halloween canceled with their viciousness, horrible pranks, and acts of violence, that’s when parents started to organize community-wide events like parades, carnivals, or festivals.

Present:

Whoohoo, trick-or-treating is back, baby! According to Statista.com, Halloween spending is up to $10.6 Billion dollars in 2022, with $3.6 billion dollars being spent on costumes, and deep-pocket pet owners shelling out $710 million dollars to dress up their pooches and kitty-cats. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they estimate about 42 million trick-or-treaters this year and 128 million dwellings offering treats, and a recent article from US News and World Report says the top three costumes were: the witch, Spiderman, and that funny inflatable dinosaur.

Future:

Mask or no mask, let’s face facts, you need people to trick-or-treat. You need people to pass out candy and you need kids, small people, to collect it. I mean, the USA couldn’t make it through a manageable pandemic without hoarding toilet paper and staying inside to stop the spread of a highly infectious deadly disease, it’s doubtful the majority of the population is going to make it through one of IET‘s 13 hypothesized apocalyptic doomsday scenarios.

The good news is, when the dust clears, I believe there will some form of a society, and probably one in need. Going door-to-door to collect food and handouts could become commonplace again, not mention to leaving “treats” to ward off evil (people) from doing good folks harm and you can be sure, as long as someone remembers October 31st is Devils night, somebody is going to be up to no good. I think trick-or-treating will most definitely survive the apocalypse.

Trick or Treat art by Raluca Iosifescu.

Tuesday Terror – Trick ‘r Treat

Trick ‘r Treat

When Michael Doughtery’s horror anthology, Trick ‘r Treat, was released in 2007, it seemed like Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros didn’t quite know what to do with the picture. After a round of festivals, the movie ended up direct-to-video, destined to die a quiet death. Well, horror fans who had seen the film, raved about it. They said it was best Halloween movie since, well, Halloween, and the good word that Trick ‘Treat was an amazing movie spread quickly. No one loves the dead coming back to life quite like the horror community.

Despite not getting a proper theatrical release, Trick ‘Treat amassed a cult following on par with the big franchise films like Halloween and Friday the 13th. In fact, Trick ‘r Treat’s Sam, the cute little mascot with a killer attitude, enforcing the rules of Halloween, is now an official horror icon with best -selling merchandise and hot collectibles of his own, after just one movie.

No one really knows why Trick ‘r Treat got the cold shoulder, some say it was bad early reviews, some say it was the violence towards children, which was still pretty taboo in 2007, yet, others blame the fact that it was an anthology, which historically don’t perform well at box office. It no longer matters. Many fans, including yours truly, consider this mandatory annual viewing every Halloween.

Haiku of the week

Monday Macabre is all about the scares during the October, but this year, we’re tapping into the psychological fear of dystopian Halloween horror.

Humans wear the scariest masks. Their desperate power grabs will not only destroy our beloved holiday, but civilized society along with it.

scary masks of death
nuclear Halloween
trick or treat no more

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

We’re just 13 days away from Halloween night and now the real fun starts! Share your most original or scariest Dystopian or Halloween Memories Haiku for a chance to win some spooktacular prizes.

The contest starts on October 18th and ends at midnight, the witching hour, on October 31st. Winners will be announced on November 1st here and on social media. 

To join in on the fun, follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter

Three ways to share your haiku:

  1. Post your haiku here in the comment section of this specific blog post. (After review, I will make your haiku visible to the public.)
  2. Post your haiku on Twitter, using the hashtag #HalloweenHaikuChallenge and tag me @Halloweenkristy to ensure that I see your post.
  3. Post your haiku on Instagram, using the hashtag #HalloweenHaikuChallenge and tag me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku to ensure that I see your post.

Judging Criteria:

  • Originality. You must be the sole author of the haiku you post. No exceptions.
  • Theme. The theme of your haiku must either be 1) Dystopian Halloween or 2) Halloween Memories.
  • Scares. The scarier the better! It is Halloween after all.
  • Format/Style. All haiku, senryu, and zappai are eligible and should fall within the usual standard 17 syllables (i.e., 5-7-5). Sorry, Tanka or any other style of poetry is not acceptable for purposes of this contest. We’re not hating, just a matter of space and time.
  • Only one entry per participant.

Prizes*:

1st Place Winner:

Halloween Prize Pack, retail value over $50

Disney Oogie Boogie Bash Pin from 2022
Disney Halloween Die Cut Magnet
The Conjuring Horror Blu-Ray/DVD Combo
Evil Dead Sticker
Halloween buttons/stickers
Halloween card

1st Place Halloween Prize Pack for 2022 – #HalloweenHaikuChallenge

2nd Place Winners:

Two runner-up poems will be chosen to win a Halloween card and one Halloween magnet.

2nd Place Halloween Prizes for 2022 – #HalloweenHaikuChallenge

3rd Place Winner:

One third-place winner will be chosen to win a Halloween card and some Halloween stickers.

*Open to US residents only. Prizes subject to change.

Disclaimer:

All works are copyright of their respective owners. By participating in this contest, you agree that Halloween Kristy can use your haiku to further promote this contest and http://www.halloweenhorrorhaiku.com on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) Unauthorized use, modification, reproduction, or distribution of copyright poems submitted to Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022 without express written permission from the copyright owner is strictly prohibited.

For further details on contest rules, please visit: https://halloweenhorrorhaiku.com/contest-rules-eligibility-and-some-disclaimer-stuff/

Halloween Kristy reserves the right to remove and discredit any haiku and/or images posted here or on social media containing plagiarized or copyrighted material, pornography, vulgarity, bigoted, racist, or sexist views.

Haiku of the Week

It’s been 90 years since the fall. Food is scarce and crops are bad. A short life is still life. How long does it take for the soil to return fruitful harvest after a nuclear holocaust? What lengths should a farm go to to protect what’s theirs?

poisoned stalks of corn
90 years after the fall
the scarecrow

Monday Macabre is all about the scares during October, but this year, we’re tapping into the psychological fear of dystopian Halloween horror. My haiku is inspired by this ghoulish robot scarecrow.

Jenkins the Scarecrow by Oleksandra Shchaslyva

Artist: Oleksandra Shchaslyva

To view more of her stunning art, please go here: https://www.artstation.com/schastlivaya

Friday Fright Nightcaps – Ode to the Mummy

Every Halloween season I make it a point to revisit the classic Universal monster films. These are the films that cemented American’s love affair with horror. Watching my favorite old classic horror films is one of my biggest Halloween traditions. This week, I created spooky cocktail to honor Karl Freund’s classic The Mummy, starring the legendary Boris Karloff, with a drink I call Ode to the Mummy.

INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. Coffee
1.5 oz Cutwater Bali Hai Tiki Monkey Liquer
1.5 oz. Vodka
1 oz. French Vanilla Creamer or Cream
Splash of Cream of Coconut

Throwback Thursdays – Bobbing for Apples

Will apple bobbing be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

Apple bobbing dates back to antiquity and is commonly associated with the Celtic festival Samhain, where apples were a sign of abundance, fertility, and good harvest. The game goes like this, several apples are placed into a tub filled with water, then, children or adults, with hands bound behind their backs, try to catch apples with their teeth. There were several variations of the game, including one called Snap Apple where the apple hangs from a string tied to the ceiling. Eventually, apple bobbing became a fun courting act between young ladies and potential suitors, particularly in regions of the United Kingdom. A young lady would drop her apple, representing the man she most desired, into a barrel and attempt to bite the apple by dunking her head into or near the water. Catching the apple in one try meant the romance was destined to succeed, while more than three tries meant the relationship was doomed. Hard to believe that’s how many a marriage started before the 1900s, but there you have it. Young women even put their apples under their pillows the night before for extra luck.

Halloween Postcard circa 1912

Present:

Health and safety concerns pretty much keep bobbing for apples a thing in the past. The fear of catching Covid, Influenza, or some other illness from contaminated water is high and parents of small children especially fear drowning, not to mention the high possibility of eye injuries from accidental scratches or infections. This game is more dangerous nowadays than it ever was in the past. Most instances of apple bobbing events happen during private parties or fall festivals and more often than not, involve schoolchildren. No young lads want to mess up their coiffeurs and any ladies looking for a soulmate will find that match.com is a far easier and safer way to attract a good man.

Photo by Polly Castor

Future:

Whether due to the radioactive contamination from the fallout of a nuclear war or worldwide freshwater shortages due to climate change, it’s hard to imagine the earth will be fertile enough in the future to grow orchards full of apple trees needed for apple bobbing. Soil and water would both be irradiated in the event of a nuclear explosion, so, growing any crops at all will be a challenge. Given the high chance of scarcity of food during the apocalypse, I don’t anticipate apple bobbing to be a Halloween tradition that survives. Still, only one apple is truly needed to play, so, all hope is not completely lost. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on social media.

Happy Halloween!

Barren apple tree

31 Days of Halloween 2022

Happy October! After starting late this Halloween season, I’m now ready to post the schedule of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween Celebration. The theme this October is dystopian Halloween. With the doomsday clock ticking down, due to savages like Russian dictator Vladamir Putin and gun-crazed trump-loving jesus-freaks, it’s probably way past time to think about how humankind plans to survive the apocalypse, in particular, how we’ll preserve our traditions and holidays, like Halloween.

Part of the month, we’ll have some fun with the dystopian Halloween-horror theme, but I have decided to mix in some good old-fashion Halloween traditional themes as well, cuz, I just love talking about those Halloween memories.

Have a safe and happy Halloween season!

31 Days of Halloween Schedule

Monday Macabre
Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we’ll explore a dystopian Halloween.

Tuesday Terror
Every Tuesday, I’ll share my favorite scary movies that I believe make great Halloween season viewing.

Wicked Art Wednesdays
Every Wednesday, I’ll share some spooktacular Halloween art with an apocalyptic twist. I might even post some my own original Halloween pencil stencil art.

Throwback Thursdays
Preservation of Halloween traditions is important for several reasons. Every Thursday, let’s explore the origins of some Halloween traditions and muse over whether these traditions might survive the apocalypse.

Friday Fright Nightcaps
Ghosts aren’t the only ones who like to get sheet-faced on Halloween. Check back every Friday for Halloween season-inspired cocktails.

Sinister Saturdays
In the past few years, Sinister Saturdays have always been dedicated to food and Halloween recipes.  The problem was, besides my being the worst cook in America, people are simply reluctant to let you share their recipes online, even if you give them complete credit and link back to their website. So, in the true spirit of Sinister Saturdays, we’re just going to let the demons loose that day and see what they come up with.

Poe Sundays
This year’s tribute to the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, will feature my thoughts on the best Poe adaptations on film.

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

Share your most original or scariest visual Halloween Haiku photos during October for a chance to win some prizes.

More details about the haiku contest will be announced on October 18th.

Join in the fun, and follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter